Grading the game: Lions

The Vikings had a good showing against the Lions, but several phases were left with areas they need to clean up. Going against Detroit, the Vikings could get away with some mistakes.

PASSING OFFENSE: B-plus — Brett Favre continues to deliver stellar play. He threw for a season-high 344 yards (20-for-29 passing) with a touchdown, no interceptions and a 120.5 passer rating in the Vikings' 27-10 victory over the Lions. Sidney Rice was again a beneficiary of Favre's production — and vice versa — as he caught seven of nine passes thrown his way for 201 yards. This includes two 43 yards receptions and one that went for 56 yards. The Favre-Rice combination has turned into one of the best in the league and the Favre-Percy Harvin combo isn't far behind. Harvin caught three passes for 53 yards, including one that appeared destined for a short gain. Harvin, however, bounced off a defender and proceeded to pick up 40 yards. Favre's only touchdown pass was a testament to his faith in his teammates. Fullback/tight end Jeff Dugan, whose primary role is as a blocker, caught his second scoring pass of the season.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B — Adrian Peterson was charged with two lost fumbles but he also rushed for 133 yards on 18 carries and had two touchdowns. That marked the third game this season in which Peterson has accumulated more than 100 yards on the ground. He now has 11 rushing touchdowns, one off his career high that he established as a rookie in 2007. Peterson's first fumble was charged to him on a reverse play in which he attempted to flip the ball to Percy Harvin but did not do an adequate job. His second fumble was legit and came in the second quarter on what looked like it might be a 61-yard touchdown run. After breaking four tackles and bursting away from the Lions defense, cornerback Phillip Buchanon caught up to him around the Lions 18-yard line and punched the ball loose. It was recovered by Detroit in the end zone. The miscue might have been costly but Peterson more than made up for it with his total contribution Sunday.

PASS DEFENSE: B — Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was under near constant pressure all day from the Vikings, who were credited with 13 hurries to go along with two sacks by defensive end Ray Edwards and one by defensive tackle Kevin Williams. Edwards also had four of the hurries. Stafford attempted 51 passes but completed only 29 of them for 224 yards with a touchdown. His longest completion went for 19 yards as the Vikings won for the second time in three games without Pro Bowl left corner Antoine Winfield. Benny Sapp, Karl Paymah and Asher Allen, who have combined to help replace Winfield and also fill the nickel role, have done a nice job in Winfield's absence. This unit, though, should get a boost with Winfield's expected return next Sunday against Seattle.

RUSH DEFENSE: B — The Vikings continue to be solid in this area, holding the Lions under 100 yards as a team (93 yards) and giving up 55 yards on 12 carries to running back Kevin Smith. Sunday marked the 32nd consecutive game in which the Vikings have not surrendered 100 yards rushing to an individual. That is the longest active streak in the NFL and dates to Nov. 11, 2007 when Green Bay's Ryan Grant rushed for 102 yards. Stafford actually had Detroit's longest run of the day, going 15 yards on one scramble. Defensive tackles Pat and Kevin Williams continue to be solid against the run and Jimmy Kennedy has proven to be a nice complement as a backup at tackle.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B-plus — Ryan Longwell made field goals of 22 and 35 yards but overall special teams did not play a huge role in this game one way or the other. Darius Reynaud was back in the lineup for the first time since Week 3 and returned four punts for only 11 yards. That 2.8-yard average was a far cry from the 17.3 yards he had been averaging before suffering a hamstring injury. Reynaud wasn't helped in that a 20-yard return in the second quarter was wiped out by a holding penalty. The Lions' inability to score meant that the explosive Percy Harvin ended up with only one kick return for 29 yards. Chris Kluwe averaged 48 yards gross and 43.3 net on four punts as he had a strong game.

COACHING: B — Brad Childress could be questioned for having Adrian Peterson run the ball on third-and-7 in the first quarter with the Vikings at the Detroit 8-yard line, and the decision to have fullback Jeff Dugan run the ball on fourth-and-1with the ball again at the Lions 8 backfired. Peterson probably would have been the better choice, although the play with Dugan has worked before. But, honestly, with the Vikings facing the Lions it really didn't matter that much. Childress opened the game with a reverse to Harvin that gained seven yards and another attempted reverse from Peterson to Harvin ended up in a fumble that Detroit recovered. Childress, though, probably deserves credit for trying to show different looks. He said the reason he had Peterson run the ball on the third-and-7 was because the Lions were showing a look against which the Vikings didn't want to throw the ball.


Viking Update Top Stories